After undergoing spine surgery in Beverly Hills, spine rehabilitation can involve many methods of reconditioning and strengthening muscles and tendons supporting several points along the spine. Exercise balls, in particular, tend to be useful during PT or rehab sessions to improve balance and flexibility.
Strengthening Core Muscle Groups
Exercise balls can be an effective therapeutic tool to strengthen core muscle groups that either directly or indirectly stabilize the spine. Sometimes referred to as a Swiss or physio ball, an exercise ball can be easily incorporated into various routines.
Purposely Creating Instability
The purpose of an exercise ball is to intentionally create instability to engage muscles. A step up from floor exercises, ball exercises stimulate muscles to react to maintain the body’s balance. The result is increased muscle strength that develops over time. Ball exercises can work the following muscles:
- Hip flexors
- Abdominal muscles
- Extensor muscles attached to the back of the spine
- Oblique muscles along the sides of the spine
The exercise ball creates an awareness of where hands and feet are in relation to space, referred to as proprioception. This awareness improves coordination by teaching the body to react quickly to maintain balance. Patients new to the exercise ball often start by simply sitting on it or bouncing lightly to learn how to balance.
Benefits of Exercise Ball Routines
It’s been suggested that ball exercises in one form or another may increase amounts of natural pain inhibitors in patients undergoing spine rehabilitation. Such exercises also tend to encourage the participant to maintain a neutral spine position, which can also help improve posture. Lower back pain sufferers, in particular, may benefit from:
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Improved muscle strength
- Better balance and coordination
While some ball-related exercises can be performed at home after some initial instruction, it’s recommended that patients first introduction to such routines be in a supervised setting under the direction of a trained and licensed physical therapist, occupational therapist, or chiropractor. It’s important for patients to learn proper form when using an exercise ball to avoid unintentional injuries. Often made of durable rubber or foam, exercise balls come in a variety of sizes.
If you haven’t committed to spine surgery yet and are interested in a second opinion, reach out to The Spine Institute at (310) 828-7757. As a leading spine surgery center in Beverly Hills, we can help you explore all possible treatment options, including fusion and spinal fusion alternatives. Call today and schedule your in-person consultation.